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Adverse Reactions Podcast: PHI’s Dr. Barbara Cohn on Generational Exposure and DDT

Dr. Barbara Cohn, director of PHI’s Child Health and Development Studies, discusses the program’s unique multigenerational research cohort, and CHDS’ critical findings on the generational effects of exposure to DDT and other substances.

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PHI’s Dr. Barbara Cohn is the featured guest speaker on the the Adverse Reactions podcast, in “Tox in the Family: Generational Exposure and DDT.”

Dr. Cohn speaks with co-hosts Anne Chappell and David Faulkner about PHI’s Child Health and Development Studies (CHDS), which investigates how health and disease are passed on between generations—not only genetically, but also through social, personal, and environmental surroundings. The episode explores CHDS findings on the generational effects of exposure to DDT and other substances. For example, CHDS research has shown that women who were exposed to higher levels of DDT in utero were nearly four times more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer as adults than women who were exposed to lower levels before birth.

Learn about these topics in the podcast

  • Generational Changes in Disease Susceptibility
  • How Three Generations Can Be Exposed at One Time
  • Influencing Public Policy and Regulations
  • Using Science for Good
Barbara Cohn
It takes 60 years to observe three generations, 70 years to observe four. And there are very few studies that exist where we’re able to do this. For that reason, my career goal has been to show that these data remain relevant to the current health status of human populations. Dr. Barbara Cohn

Director of PHI’s Child Health and Development Studies

Barbara Cohn
This is an amazing cohort, and we look at multiple health outcomes. And just to give you a couple of vignettes, we’re looking at the predictors of breast cancer in the mother’s generation, then the daughter’s generation, and risk factors in the granddaughter’s generation. We have looked at semen quality in the son’s generation. Sometimes, it’s hard to get that into people’s head that it still matters who your parents and your ancestors were. Dr. Barbara Cohn

Director of PHI’s Child Health and Development Studies

Barbara Cohn
It’s an amazing study because in addition to having a very wide-ranging interview about their health habits and behaviors, we have blood from multiple points in time in their own pregnancies and from the fathers and partners that fathered the pregnancies. And we have clinical data abstracted from medical records directly about the progress of their pregnancy, their labor, and delivery; the health status of all the children through the age of five, including follow up if the people left the cohort, where they went. Dr. Barbara Cohn

Director of PHI’s Child Health and Development Studies

Originally published by Adverse Reactions


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